Livid Instruments‘ Peter Nyboer published an interesting post over the weekend, explaining his thoughts on why you should buy one of his company’s controllers, like the Livid Block, over alternatives from larger companies, like Akai’s APC40 or the Novation Launchpad:
Jay and I first saw the APC40 at the NAMM convention in January. We went to NAMM to meet with dealers and show them our plans for the year, sharing some prototype work of the Ohm64, prepared to highlight how we were evolving our existing Ohm controller (which was initially targeted at VJ’s), and broadening our reach to musicians. We felt like we had a unique product to offer.
Practically the first thing we saw when we walked into the giant convention hall was the APC40: a direct competitor, well-funded with an existing sales and marketing network, an established if not legendary brand, teamed with the hottest product, priced way below what we could imagine, speaking directly to the customers we had hoped to reach. It was a bit disheartening, to say the least, and brought up the very question you ask. Unfortunately for us, the dilemma was more an existential one: not “What do I buy?” but “Why am I here?”
The reason we are here is because we want to offer a foundation for gratifying creative work. As you’ve observed, our controllers are designed to work well with Ableton’s emphasis on tracks, clips and effects. A company called NativeKontrol (http://www.nativekontrol.com/) has even designed software that works “between” Live and the Ohm64 to provide the navigation control and automatic mapping of the environment.
Nyboer goes on to explain some of the hardware, software and philosophical differences that might make you want to get a Livid controller, and why an APC40 might be a better choice for some people.
It’s a must read, if you’re considering purchasing a matrix controller.
It also highlights that we suddenly are flooded with great options for matrix sequencer controllers, ranging from the relatively inexpensive Novation Launchpad to the more boutique monome 128. They’re all good options, depending on your need and budget – but Nyboer makes a good case for paying a little more for a solution that gives you more options.
See Nyboer’s full post here – and leave a comment with your thoughts on which of these controllers is the best solution.